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Putin’s plans in Abkhazia

By Messenger Staff
Monday, August 17
Now the Russian Prime Minister has visited Abkhazia, Russia’s puppet sovereign ‘state’, just a month after President Medvedev visited the other Russian puppet ‘state’, South Ossetia. Russian bigwigs are doing this to show the world that they will continue ignoring international law and the acknowledged world order. They expect everyone to recognise the so-called ‘new geopolitical reality’ they have established, but at the same time make clear that if they do not, this will have no influence on Russia’s conduct.

The Putin-Medvedev tandem continues to make absurd and cynical allegations that Georgia is an aggressor and a threat comes from it. Meanwhile Moscow hastily constructs different military bases on the occupied Georgian territories. In fact these so-called states are fast becoming Russian military strongholds, with little room for anything else, including the local people Russia claimed it wanted to protect.

The Georgian Foreign Ministry officially called Putin’s visit to Abkhazia provocative, pointing out that it was conducted on August 12, the anniversary of the signing of the ceasefire agreement last year. The Ministry stated that the major initiator and ideologist of the war against Georgia, Vladimir Putin, entered occupied Sokhumi by violating Georgia’s official state borders. The EU also highlighted in a statement on August 13 that Putin’s visit does not assist the peacekeeping efforts being made by the EU in the region. EU President country Sweden, on behalf of the organisation, once again confirmed its support for Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. A similar statement was made by the EU a month ago, when Medvedev visited South Ossetia. But Russia ignores all statements made by international organisations. Moscow knows very well that none of them will go beyond making statements and take serious action against the Kremlin. This is why Moscow tries to put all the blame on Tbilisi and accuse it of what Russia has actually done.

Putin spoke in Sokhumi about integrating this territory with Russia, economically and by other means. First of all he said the Northern neighbour will invest huge amounts of money in Abkhazia in the military sphere. In 2010, Putin said, Moscow will invest almost half a billion USD (around 16 billion Russian roubles) in the Abkhazian military bases and ‘Abkhazian border’ security. He omitted to mention however that Moscow has already spent 2.5 billion roubles on military infrastructure in Abkhazia. Putin’s cynical approach became most obvious when he said that strengthening the borders will give Abkhazia the opportunity to conduct dialogues with Georgia and Russia as equal partners. It is hard to see how Abkhazia can conduct any equal dialogue with Russia when Abkhazian territory is thick with Russian soldiers.

One has only to regret that money European countries pay Russia for its natural gas is being spent on reinforcing Russia’s aggression against Georgia. Putin carried out his arrogant visit to Abkhazia with the full intention of aggravating the situation and increasing the threat of a repeat aggression. On the eve of his visit Putin told journalists that such a repetition is not excluded as long as Georgia’s current leadership is in charge and warned that Abkhazia has signed an agreement on military assistance with Russia. This is yet another example of Russian cynicism, because last year Georgian troops did not make even one shot in the direction of Abkhazian separatists. The situation was aggravated in South Ossetia, Georgian villages were shelled and the Georgian armed forces were forced to get engaged. In Abkhazia the Russian-backed puppet regime conducted its own aggression when under no attack and seized the Kodori Gorge, which was the only bit of Abkhazia still under the legal control of Georgia prior to the war.

While sponsoring this military build up Putin is hastily issuing Russian passports and thus Russian citizenships to the residents of Abkhazia. Soon so-called separatist Abkhazia will not only be full of Russian servicemen but Russian passport holders. Thus this allegedly independent puppet country will automatically become part of the Russian Federation, something not envisaged in any peace plan or even by most Abkhaz themselves.